The proposed fight between Daniel Ponce de Leon and Gary Russell Jr. will not take place. Ponce de Leon agreed to take the fight at 130 pounds but Russell has turned down the offer. In turning down the fight Russell has turned down the opportunity to take make a legit name for himself and to step up a level. Face it, the guy has not fought anyone of worth and when given the opportunity to step it up takes the easy way out.
Frank Espinoza, manager to Ponce de Leon and Abner Mares was surprised that Russell turned down the offer. “Golden Boy Promotions told me Russell turned down the fight. My guy just had a tough fight with Abner Mares in May and he wasn’t looking for an easy fight for his next fight. I do not even remember who the last guy that Russell fought. That guy wouldn’t last four rounds with Ponce de Leon. Russell has 22 fights and I couldn’t even name 3 of his opponents. Golden Boy offered us Russell and Ponce de Leon accepted the fight without hesitation. I don’t think Russell and his team expected Ponce to accept the fight. I see him talking about Ponce in a lot of interviews and making it appear like he wants to fight him but I don’t think he ever really wanted to fight my fighter and that’s fine, we understand. A lot of guys out there are always talking about fighting Ponce de Leon but it’s a different story when a contract to fight him is on the table,” said Espinoza.
Russell has also mentioned another of Espinoza’s fighters as an opponent when he said that Mares would be a good notch on his belt. Before Russell fights Mares or any other champion he needs to prove himself and if he were to face and beat Ponce de Leon who is a former world champion then he can have the right to fight for a major title against a legit opponent.